It’s been an industrious, mostly industrial week. We’ve been at Jen’s, although I post this at Mary’s preparing for our trip to the U.S. Today we’re having lunch with a two-star general and tomorrow we fly off to Atlanta to spend a week with a three-star general. Oh, and their wives (almost forgot…)! We truly have stars in our eyes.
After the grandeur of Highgrove and Badminton House it was down with a bump and fixing some things. Jen’s indicators on her Ka were broken. I took the housing apart and reckoned the relay was kaput. Ford wanted to charge me £36, but good old www posted me one through for £8. A ten minute job later and all was well.
You remember Doris was coughing (EGR valve) and wheezing (turbo noise?) for most of the European tour? After many attempts to self fix, she seemed to sort herself out after I played with some wires under the dash. On the way back from Wells the engine management light came on – and stayed on. Ford had already quoted me over £500 to replace the EGR valve and update the ECU’s software. Not happy with that, but needing to get the software updated, I phoned a local mobile mechanic. I bought the EGR valve from Ford (£210) and the mechanic did the whole lot and put in £10’s worth of turbo cleaner for £120. What was great was I was looking over his shoulder whilst his computer did its magic. We checked all of the four error codes (all EGR/turbo related) and, after some work and a session of ‘ECU learning’, hey presto Doris was fixed. She runs like a dream now…fabulous.
And Jen’s immersion heater broke. She’s actually in our house, so as the landlords we needed to sort it. It’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep it short. The house is Economy 7 and the top up heater elements had been broken for ages. A recommended plumber replaced both elements for £160, which included two hours work and emptying and refilling the immersion heater. But the Economy 7 element still didn’t work. Between us we worked out that it was an electrical problem, but difficult to test unless you stay up overnight when the Economy 7 circuit comes on. After various combinations of immersion on/off and night storage heaters on/off, it became clear that the Economy 7 circuit was down. What to do? Well, how about tripping the fuse! It took me ages to work that out because we have a new fuse box….but the Economy 7 fuses are in the old box which I assumed was no longer needed. Anyhow, that’s sorted without having to open up my wallet. Which is always a welcome event.
Anyhow, that’s that. Last night we went to a wedding reception for one of Jen’s friends and I danced like, well, my Dad. Although at 53 I am now my Dad and, according to James, Jen’s fiancée, Jen now dances like me. The circle of life….
Have a great week. I’ll try and post from the U.S. if we’re not hob-nobbling too much. But as I’m only taking one pair of trousers (the rest are shorts) and absolutely no tie, I think that’s unlikely.